Oh you guys. New Years is probably one of my favorite times of the year – because there is nothing I love more than new beginnings. There is so much promise and potential with each passing year. But with that comes a smidge of fear and potential for (bum-bum-bum) FAILURE. If you hate New Years resolutions it might be because it’s too mainstream and trite to set impossible goals on January 1 (you’re probably also not so down with Valentine’s day and prefer to shower your lover with gifts year round). I’m with you and would agree except that I’ll take any occasion to get my dreamy goal-setting on (and to get some lovin’ on too). Or you may dread New Years because every year you make a new resolution and lose momentum after a few weeks – only to make you feel guilty and worse than if you had just kept coasting along as-is.
So today I’d like to invite you to try a new approach to setting your New Year’s resolutions. I want you to grab two sheets of paper. On one draw a line down the middle – on the left write down “2013 / Reflect”. On the right side write down “2014 / Dream”.
STEP 1: Reflect.
Get really honest here. Take the time to be real with yourself about regrets or where you could’ve improved. But on the flip-side this is no place to be humble. You can brag on yourself about all the things you did right and use this space to give yourself a big pat on the back.
• What went right in 2013?
• What would you do differently?
• What was the biggest lesson you learned?
• What did you create?
• If you could sum up 2013 in just a few words what would they be? And why?
STEP 2: Dream.
Get dreamy here. This is going to look suspiciously like traditional New Years resolution goal setting here. But you’re not married to anything you write down. In fact, spoiler alert: you’re going to destroy this piece of paper after you’re done using it to brainstorm.
• What goals would you like to accomplish in 2014?
• What’s the biggest risk you could take?
• If you could travel to one place where would you go?
• What does your ideal day look like?
STEP 3: Burn.
Alright. Take your 2013 / 2014 Reflect & Dream sheet of paper and burn. Or tear it up and flush it. Whatever suits you. You got it down on paper – you honored your past and got dreamy about the future. But guess what? You don’t live in the past anymore. And the future, good or bad, isn’t here yet.
STEP 4: Feel.
Now bust out your second sheet of paper and label it “FEEL”.
• Start a brain dump, mind-map, or organized list of things you would like to feel in 2014. Write down as much or as little as you’d like. If you’re like me you’ll start listing things you want to do – that’s okay. Just ask yourself “How do I imagine it will make me feel when I meditate / exercise / write…?” – those feelings words are what you’re going for.
• Once you’ve had a good brainstorm circle, highlight, or somehow narrow in on three to five words that really resonate with how you’d like to feel.
• If you need more help determining your core desired feelings, or simply want to dig deeper and more thoroughly into this, I highly recommend Danielle LaPorte’s Desire Map. If you can’t afford her book just watch her videos and get inspired by her blog. She’s revolutionized the way I look at goal setting and for that I am forever grateful.
Ta-da! These “feeling” words are your resolutions. It’s not about setting goals but letting the way you want to feel drive the actions you take. Yesterday I shared some of my words and intentions for 2013. Tomorrow I’ll be sharing my “feeling” words for 2014. Stay tuned!
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